A handful of survivors from a disastrous 1528 Spanish expedition to Florida journey across the coast until they reach Mexico.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cascabel / Araino
Carlos Castañón ...
Gerardo Villarreal ...
Roberto Cobo ...
Lozoya (as Roberto 'Calambres' Cobo)
José Flores ...
Eli 'Chupadera' Machuca ...
Farnesio de Bernal ...
Fray Suárez
Josefina Echánove ...
Anciana Avavar
Max Kerlow ...
Man in Armor
Óscar Yoldi ...
Ramón Barragán ...
Pánfilo de Narváez
Julio Solórzano Foppa ...
Javier Escobar Villarreal ...
Young Iguase Indian


An international award winning saga of old Mexico. In 1528, a Spanish expedition founders off the coast of Florida with 600 lives lost. One survivor, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, roams across the American continent searching for his Spanish comrades. Instead, he discovers the Iguase, an ancient Indian tribe. Over the next eight years, Cabeza de Vaca learns their mystical and mysterious culture, becoming a healer and a leader. But soon this New World collides with the Old World as Spanish conquistadors seek to enslave the Indians, and Cabeza de Vaca must confront his own people and his past. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Abenteuer des Cabeza de Vaca  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$789,127 (USA)

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


The huge figure of a naked man wielding a club which is created by the Indian sorcerer is an accurate representation of the ancient Celtic chalk carving known as the Cerne Abbas Giant, which is 60 metres in height and is located on a hillside overlooking the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. See more »


Referenced in The Dangerous (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Spectacular visuals lend the film the power of myth
6 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

One chapter of the conquista - the subjugation of the Native American peoples by Europeans. We follow Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's adventures and misadventures in the New World from a crash landing of his ship through his saving and capture by the Indians, his forced immersion into the Indian culture, his almost mystical pilgrimage from Florida through the American Southwest to California (or was it Mexico?), up to the bitter end at the hands of his European compatriots. Spectacular visuals lend the film the power of myth, but this is still more realistic depiction of the tragic clash of the cultures in the 16th century America than all the Hollywood productions, including Roland Joffe's "The Mission (1986)" (which, by the way, I do like). The only feature film with this topic that I consider equal, or perhaps even superior, is "Jerico (1988)" made by a Venezuelan ethnography professor Luis Alberto Lamata.

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